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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  January 4, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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today american petroleum institute president and ceo jack gerard discussed his opposition to the obama administration
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limits on offshore trawling and plans to increase taxes on oil and gas industry. api issued a report with energy policy recommendations for the new 112th congress. mr. gerard spoke at the museum in washington, d.c. and is introduced by newseum trustees shelley coffee. this is just over an hour. >> i'm shelby coffey trusty here at dhaka newseum, and on behalf of the newseum and our host, the american petroleum institute, i want to thank you all for joining us to kickstart 2011 with energy. back in the day i was an editor of a newspaper in dallas texas and another in los angeles california both states where
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energy demanded and got a lot of coverage. i watched the energy dialogue evolves over the years so like you i am eager to hear what the state of american energy is as we begin a new decade. speaking of, please note that you should have received the a epi state of american energy report on your chair. a couple additional housekeeping items you have question cards on your table like this please fill those out if you want to ask your question at the conclusion of the program and we will collect them later. for members of the press and blog -- bloggers and tweeters i asked you hold your questions until the speech and last, please ensure yourself phones are silent. so our speaker today, jack gerard, is one of the all stars of washington and a classic example of the mobility of
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american society that gives this country it's unique dynamic. mr. gerard grew up in an idaho town of less than 200 now presides as the president ceo of the american petroleum institute, whose membership includes a number of the most important and successful corporations in the country. to quote a profile piece on mr. gerard, it's a long way from the farms and the mud lake area of southeastern idaho to washington, d.c. but it is a road that jack gerard has traveled and thrived. when he joined api in late 2008 he brought an industry trade association background as well as experience on capitol hill. he worked for representative george hansen, senator james mcclure while earning his dea and juris doctor from george washington university along the way. he and the senator mcclure start of a firm that counted mining
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and soccer world cup on them than many other clients. you want on to lead the national mining association and the american chemical council before taking the helm of the only way and natural gas industry trade association. with each opportunity, mr. gerard has tackled one challenge after another in his remarkable professional career. one of the few things he has come up a little bit shy of is the rank of eagle scout. he was only for badges short of the necessary 21. probably didn't have time what with taking care of the cowles, he's an expert milker as a child. many other household chores in idaho but he has been making up for it ever since and is now chairman of the national council of the boy scouts of america. the moldova is always be prepared, and that he is, all those things i'm sure but from
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the previews sightseeing in terms of the energy dialogue, mr. gerard is prepared within a eliminating thought-provoking set of remarks about the state of american energy. ladies and jeff hollen, -- gentlemen, jack gerard. [applause] >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and thank you, shall be. i guess i should thank you for that introduction. i'm not sure who wrote that. i will talk to somebody at the office when i get back this afternoon. [laughter] >> i wrote to that. >> i want to thank each one of you personally for being here today and extend to you a happy new year as we start a new year and in particular new session of congress and the new trend and activity here in the washington, d.c. area. we have a lot of distinguished guests and i wish we had time to
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go to each table and introduce everyone and talk about your tight energy but unfortunately because we don't have that time, i would like to dispense with that a think you for being here but i would like to introduce the head table if i could bury quickly. first one you all know well or perhaps will come to know better is the chairman of the house energy and commerce committee, chairman fred upton of the great state of michigan. [applause] he has a lot on his plate not the least of which includes the portfolio energy so we look forward to working with you, mr. chairman. i'm going to introduce the consumers. we have a very diverse head table to become a first former governor bill graves of the great state of kansas who is currently the president ceo of american trucking association. [applause] next to him as tom gibb said the
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friend and currently president ceo of the american odierno and steel institute a very intensive institute. thanks for being here. as shall be mentioned during my spare time working in the house and the senate i was privileged to attend an esteemed institution here in town called the george washington university and i have the privilege now to co-chair the council on political affairs, a graduate school of political management and employees to welcome the president of the george washington university thank you for being here today. [applause] a new found trend that we've become close and a relatively short period of time is the president of the building construction trade of the afl-cio about a year ago, a little over a year ago now we came together, the api and the
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construction trade and entry into a labor-management committee agreement whereby we worked together on issues of mutual interest so we are pleased to have a partnership with organized labor and mark, thank you for being here today. [applause] but we also introduced frank stewart the president of the american association of blacks and energy. we have worked with him before and we just talked again today further about what we can do to expand our role and responsibilities in expanding the work force in the african community. something we've done well as an industry. frank, thanks for being here. [applause] we always save the best for last as you know. it is the rose among the thorns of the head table today. esther adler of the hispanic caucus institute over coalition
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partners and we are thrilled she would be here today representing a broad and growing constituency here in the united states so esther, thank you. [applause] with that, again, shall be, thank you for hosting this today, and i hope i can today share some thoughts that will provoke some thinking and encourage us to think hard about the question of energy particularly here in the united states. i am particularly pleased to be here at the museum to share with you our thoughts on the state of american energy. as you know, this building is devoted to the advance in world history, even as that in many cases define generations or moments that are part of our identity as americans. the greatest moments in our history occurred when we overcome challenges. but when we recognize and to get vantage of key opportunities.
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in my remarks today, i want to focus on the challenges and opportunities before our country related to energy and how what we do this year could have a profound impact on the country's energy future and with it, our economic prosperity. while this particular story is yet to be written for the newseum, at this moment in time, our options for the future are quickly coming into focus. today, we are issuing this stage of american energy, a report that provides a were industry perspective on energy and economic issues from the way the two are tightly linked. this report captures the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. on the one hand, even in this challenging economic climate, one where people are looking for ways to create jobs, to boost
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revenue and spur investment our industry is a great story to tell. consider just a few highlights from the last year. in 2010, oil and natural gas companies created 57,000 new jobs in pennsylvania and west virginia alone. that's part of the marcello shalem natural gas development. these are good paying jobs that are highly sought by local communities. the number one ranking in the job creation index belongs to the great state of north dakota. why? thanks to its record-breaking production numbers over the past year. last year oil and natural-gas company investments in u.s. capital projects over the previous decade now hit the
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2 trillion-dollar market. finally, this industry provides to the u.s. treasury on average well over $95 million a day in taxes, rent, royalty and a bonus payment. but on the other hand, without policies that encourage a continued safe and reliable production of our domestic oil and natural gas resources, the story would be much gloomier. our report contains a wealth of facts and figures about the state of american energy. but its conclusion is this: of the american growth is economic growth. energy security is economic security, and when we invest in energy, we invest in america. today, after the year in which we face as an industry unprecedented challenges, i am
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glad to say the state of american energy has been strong. but it will remain strong only if policymakers chart a course of opportunity and certainty. with the right policies in place all levels of government, our industry stands ready to be the engine of economic growth and recovery that this country needs in 2011 and well beyond. with the rising world population and developing economy is demanding more resources, we will see the global deanne for energy rise significantly. but rising energy demand means the economies are growing and the billions of people around the world are as sending out of poverty and gaining access to a better quality-of-life. the international energy outlook
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of 2010 project the world energy consumption will increase by over 50% between 2007 and 2035. based on government projections, oil and natural gas will continue to provide more than half of the total of u.s. and global energy needs until 2035 and well beyond. these numbers clearly demonstrate that the scriven demand for energy of all types and putting allele and natural gas will require more safe and reliable exploration and production particularly here in the united states. our industry supports 9.2 million american jobs. that includes 2.1 million of workers directly employed, exploring, producing, refining, transporting and marketing the
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oil and natural gas. the number also includes 7.1 million workers whose jobs support the oil and natural gas industry. equipment suppliers, construction companies, management specialists, food service businesses and the list goes on are all tied in one way to the oil and gas sector. many of these are small business, medium-size business. those with a potential to grow. every sector of our economy depends on affordable energy. every business owner and every worker, every household, every family member, every consumer depends on a affordable, reliable supplies of leal and natural gas. so who are these 9.2 million workers and the millions who depend on oil and natural gas? you can see some of them if you look around the room up posters that have been displayed in the
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room today. these are images of real people who we have featured in our new advertising campaign which launches this week on capitol hill and the capitals of metro station and then we will rollout is a national campaign to further and educate and engage the public on issues important to the energy industry. the ad features the workers, consumers, homeowners and others who are part of the american story of oil and natural gas. this is why as i mentioned earlier the american energy and economy are closely linked. the state of american energy must be strong in order for the american economy to thrive. how we strengthen the state of american energy? for starters there are vast reserves, vast resources and
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domestic oil and natural gas reserves that are currently off limits to exploration and production. millions of barrels of oil, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas on shore and off and given our past experience and our new found advanced technologies. accessing the u.s. resources could improve our energy security by making us less reliant on others. to generate an additional $1.17 trillion. let me repeat that $1.7 trillion in to government revenue over the life of the resource. and create hundreds of thousands of new high-paying jobs. in areas where we do have access, we need to response only expand production.
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natural gas is a great example. you have seen some of it on the videos here today. i mentioned earlier that last year alone our industry created 57,000 jobs in just pennsylvania and west virginia and developing new found natural -- excuse me. developing the new front natural gas reserves in the marcello shalem. that's good news to be sure, but it's just the tip of the opportunity iceberg. since expanding the shalem natural gas could create 280,000 new jobs in an additional 6 billion in government revenue just over the next decade. similar success stories are played out in other parts of the country like northern louisiana, texas, arkansas and colorado to
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name just a few. we can build and maintain an even more vibrant natural gas sector with a clean burning abundant and affordable resource boe we need the political will to make this a reality. the versus canadian oil sands. greater production from a friendly nearby neighbor like canada could create 340,000 new american jobs in economic benefits that could add up to 34 billion to our gdp by 2015 in just four short years. the second is oil shale. increased oil shale production could add as many as 100,000 new jobs. millions of tax revenue and royalties on the payments topping $2 billion a year.
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the energy is also researching a and marketing an alternative and renewable sources of energy including solar, geothermal, biofuels, few cells, hydrogen power and wind energy. we've invested $58.4 billion on the low and cero carbon technologies just between 2000 to 2008. that's more than even the federal government or role of the u.s.-based private industry's combined interested in these alternative forms of energy. we can and should be doing all of these things to improve the state of american energy and our economy and we can and are giving them safely. last year tragedy in the gulf brought new attention to the risk associated with doing what men and women in our industry do
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every day. the days and weeks after the incident i'm proud of the way of industry responded. the industry responded quickly moving vessels, materials and manpower to the affected areas. we immediately brought together industry experts for murder of the world and created a task forces to identify ways we can enhance the focus on safety even before we knew the actual cause. the recommendations are already helping to improve safety through the development of new industry standards and through the incorporation of new government regulations. we've redoubled our commitment to safety, something we've been focused on for more than 60 years that we've been operating in the gulf and more than 42,000 leader. we've difficult to the technology standards and best
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practices that help to ensure workplace safety and environmental stewardship remain at the forefront of the offshore development process. while the strength of our existing system is precisely liable in sentence like the ones luster are rare, there is always room for improvement. that's why work on advancing safety will never be done. we will continually strive to improve our performance. the commitment to improve safety while we continue to explore and develop resources must be paramount hope for both industry and government because more domestic production of oil and natural gas both onshore and offshore is critical to jobs for all the americans. a stronger economy and enhance energy security and will help solve a pressing problem, the
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federal budget deficit. on the economic front, the progress we have made had the opportunity for future growth depends in part on the policy choices that we will make now. the right policy, those that create a clear positive climate for investment will help us realize gains in job creation, economic growth generating increased revenue to the government. but the wrong policies will put these at risk. over the past few years revenue to the u.s. treasury from lease sales have decreased due in part to the lack of opportunity. our industry is eager to initiate projects but without an adequate level of business certainty with concerns about policies that might curtail the ability to access new resources
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those projects might never get off of the drawing board. companies need to know they can get access to the domestic resources for oil and natural gas can indeed be developed. the new guidelines from policy makers on what is required to gain permits and on the rules for safe and reliable operations but we also cannot keep the industry on indefinite hold while the regulatory process is improved. while questions linger about other projects can move forward, where u.s. regulatory certainty is lacking, those projects will move elsewhere. we've already seen some companies send to waters off the coast of africa and south america and other companies are discussing probably even today plans to relocate to places where the exploration and
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production will continue. as they leave us so do the jobs and the revenues that they create. it policy environment that creates opportunity and certainty for all energy sources will help us drive the recovery. anything else will idle licht. so the way i see, our policy makers are indeed at the crossroads. they face to fundamental choices. one ad leads us forward, promotes jobs, investment, revenue and growth, or the alternative that takes us backward threatening progress we've made and closing the door on future opportunities. choosing the right path requires making right choices and to critical areas. the first is access. i discussed access to the
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domestic energy reserves would mean for our domestic economy but the nation will require natural-gas for decades to come. a lot that will come from deep sea wells and if it doesn't come from here, then we will import it. this is why we oppose the recent decision by the department interior to delay the next plan process for offshore leasing. the placing of large areas of domestic oil and gas off limits and the slow pace of permitting both onshore and offshore in areas where exploration and production are allowed. closing the eastern gulf, the atlantic and pacific coast to offshore drilling and exploration and the late permitting in alaska since job creation elsewhere and closes the door on economic growth.
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countries around the world understand this. samore krin getting the right climate for energy investment both within their borders and off the coast. why all others are securing the global and natural gas resources we hear much about china and how they are securing their own future. we can look at brazil, home to some of the largest offshore oil finds in the last decade. scientists believed to hold as much as 100 billion barrels of oil. brazil recently announced between now and 2014 over the next three to four years, it will invest $224 billion to double their production by 2020. about 95% of that investment will stay in brazil. u.s. cellular and natural gas
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companies stand to benefit from this development and could play a role in helping brazil meet its target. but we should be increasing production here at home. we should welcome new investments and be creating jobs and revenue during in the united states. at that time we are attempting to reduce the deficit and put more americans back to work, closing off the outer continental shelf development opportunities is the wrong choice and it's one we will be feeling the effect of for many years yet to come. the second area making the right decision is critical in the area of taxes. there's been significant political debate about federal spending levels and government revenues particularly how to cut spending and increase revenue to pay for important programs. one suggestion has been to increase taxes on the oil and
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natural gas sector. u.s. soil and natural gas companies are already an important source of government tax revenues. they pay their fair share and more. our industry pays an effective tax rate of 48.4% of pretax income nearly double what other industries pay. in 2008 it paid more than $95 billion of income tax alone. some believe more taxes on the industry equal more money for federal programs. but today we are releasing the new economic analysis by which mackenzie that shows why this is in the case we will provide copies to each of you probably the door as you exit. here is what the study shows. increasing taxes on all leal and natural gas actually decreases
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government revenue. in the long run the negative economic consequences of higher taxes more than offset any short-term tax revenue gains. an additional 5 billion in new annual taxes has proposed by some in the administration and some in congress could actually decrease the government revenue by $120 billion by 2025. even worse collier taxes could result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs between now and 2025. in 2014 alone it is estimated we would lose 170,000 of these jobs cover the oil and natural gas industry can still provide the answer the government is looking for. the study concludes if we open
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areas currently off-limits to the development, we could create more than 530,000 jobs throughout the economy and generate an additional 150 billion in government revenue by 2025. what this says is we can either take momentum away from recovery or put it behind american prosperity. we can watch jobs and billions of dollars in federal revenue disappear or we can welcome 150 billion a new government revenue. the public understands this. on election night this fall one poll showed 60% of voters oppose increasing taxes on the wheel and natural gas industry. 54% said an increase of taxes could destroy jobs, and they are right. we are ready as an industry to help this country achieved the
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energy and economic security it needs. but to reach our full potential we must be clear on the kind of policies that will shape the american economy of the future and congress and policy makers of all levels of government make the decisions that will get us there. the american people said a message last november they want policy makers focus on an agenda that promotes growth, an agenda that is focused on job creation. we want the same things and we are committed to working with the administration and the new congress to make them happen. i've spent a lot of time today talking about what could be or how the oil and gas industry is to do more and in these current times the economic future. but the bench and instead we are
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looking back at a time when we got the energy policy right. imagine looking back and pointing to the new energy projects and increased production resulting and new jobs and increased corporate investment and current revenue while continuing to improve our efficiency and environmental performance. imagine looking back to see a policy climate that allows us to improve our energy security here at home and enhance america's competitiveness abroad. the newseum as a ticket to the most seminal moments in american history the way we overcame challenges or defined our greatness. the story of how we overcome this challenge is yet to be written that all countries are writing there's and the development of new and additional energy sources both at home and around the world
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plays a leading role in their narrative's. we sit at a crossroads. what we are faced with today is choosing between the future we want to see with jobs and economic growth and revenue generation all as part of that, or the future there will be handed to us if we continue on the current course. one that involves more import, more expensive energy and more deficits triplets make the right choice and set the right agenda and then let's get to work on a story that we can be proud of, one that will be chronicled here in this wonderful building as an american success story. i believe that we can and i am confident that we will thank you very much for your attention. [applause]
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>> thanks very much. a challenging address and we have about ten minutes for questions so we will plunge right in. one of the fever of indoor sports this time of year in washington a is telling the president what he ought to be saying in the state of the union address. so by the authority vested in me as a trustee of the newseum i know you actually know what you're talking about which is not always the case in the ponder talk receipts i want to make you an honorary member of that. >> welcome thank you. >> with a possibility to go to a high your level of the chattering class' and rescue on energy what do you think the president should be talking about in the state of the union address?
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>> there's a couple things we should focus on. first is the economic reality we are facing today and what the voters said in november. it was very clear they want us focused on economic recovery and job creation. i think the administration, the congress should be focused clearly in a laser likely on job creation. energy is the potential to create a huge number of american jobs. putting our people to work or back to work in areas that will benefit the broader economy and help the economy suggest to leave to recover. the other thing we should talk about is the energy reality to it as i mentioned earlier, we are going to require 50% more energy around the world between now and 2035. we are going to need at least 13% more energy just here in the united states. 60% of that energy today comes
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from oil and natural gas. even after the next 20, 25 years past, oil and gas will continue to provide over 50% of the energy the economy will consume so i think we need to get away with the partisan bickering, quit worrying about political what vantage and we need to focus on the energy reality and when we do that it will under of benefits to economic recovery had helped create the jobs we need in the citizenry so desired. >> that leads then to run other washington phrase question where we are always leaving the party's halfway on happy if we can. to the wood mackenzie report. what would be wrong with this question with both more access and more taxes? >> there's a fundamental choice we have to read the want to
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discourage the investment in the united states or encourage economic investment in the united states and thus generate significantly more revenue than the tax approach. when you look up the numbers particularly the wood mackenzie conclusion today it is very clear that additional access in the united states results and new jobs and sycophant increases in government revenue. so if we are after increasing government revenues, the way to get there is and create new jobs in the process is by allowing additional access. >> we have some questions from the audience. i think you have a good future in the ponder autocracy by the way to recycle brad and the angelina silbey together in 2012? [laughter] no, i was on the other side. [laughter]
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>> wooful improvements and access for energy development and a decision not to impose the taxes mean on consumers' gas and diesel costs and other words ticket to the consumer level. >> there's been a lot of talk recently about the consumer impact and price of gasoline and diesel fuel and others. we are not in that business. i can't tell what the price is 20 nor do we want to speculate to that. however, when you talk to people like the governor gray davis and tom gibson and others that are consumers of energy, they will tell you that the price of energy to their success and to their well-being is a very significant factor. the way for us and the issues we do have the ability to control hour the supply and demand equation. this is fundamental. price of gasoline and diesel is driven to the price of crude oil. crudely illustrated that the
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marketplace its impact of buy a variable such as the demand and increased demand from china and elsewhere so if we want to keep that consumer price low, we need to make sure we have added to supply and that goes back to the job creation, additional revenue in the federal government if you give us an opportunity to create certainty. >> another question when do we reach of the tipping point? how much time have we got in terms of the workable amount of oil in place? >> we have lost supplies globally specifically in the united states. one of the points i mentioned earlier our experience is what we thought we knew about the outer continental shelf, we were given access to the outer continental copperhead half to
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the to -- shelf and we have produced eight times as much as we thought was there. that's why it's important to get access to do seismic studies and surveys to figure of the resources. i mentioned north dakota, the state or one of the few whose unemployment rate is under 4%. it's a due to oil development in the formation. a few years ago that formation was estimated to have 100 million barrels of oil. a recent assessment shows it has about 4.3 million barrels of oil right here in the united states. i don't know that there is a tipping point. the key is technologically advanced to the political will to develop american resource from the benefit of all americans. >> the clean air act says gives almost unlimited power for the epa. the supreme court authorized the
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epa to use the power to regulate co2. should we amend the clean air act to take away some of the epa power to control energy policy? >> energy policies should be developed in a comprehensive way. unfortunately we have failed to do that though like former chairman johnson has tried to develop a comprehensive policy we need to continue to do that moving ahead in the future. let me touch on what i think the questioner was after. we do not support and strongly oppose the epa unilaterally regulating greenhouse gas emissions. we believe it is in the purview of the elective officials of congress to decide when and how greenhouse gases should be regulated. the clean air act was never thought of for created to regulate greenhouse gases and
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that's created a lot of uncertainty and one of the reasons the epa is proposing to change the provisions of the clean air act through regulatory process. why? because it was never thought of regulate greenhouse gases. we think the epa should move aside and turn to the congress for the direction on how they see the climate issue and when and how they should regulate. it's been a clear at the end of the questions and i've got your union card with me. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for being here. [applause] >> a couple things as we wind up by want to thank you all for coming. this is just the kind of dialogue on what all the important subjects that we want to the newseum to have. if you want to see more about this, on energy to marco.org,
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that's the website, we will have the media briefing here at 1:00 and thank que so much for coming year. also feel free to give me a call any time we have a great newseum that we love to show off to one and all. thanks again and congratulations. [applause] >> let me thank ebal for being here today. we appreciate your time and attention to the issue that to us and by the customer today very significant to the country. let's open it up. we will let you manage it. that we i will be the good guy. >> what do you think should be
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the congress when they come back tomorrow should be the top priority when it comes to energy? >> i think is a lot of issues they need to look at but as it comes to energy first we need to focus on some of the fundamental decisions that have been made. issues like putting off the five-year plan on the outer continental shelf. i think the congress should look at that question. we want to work with the administration and congress and encourage them to reconsider that. that has long term adverse implications for our economy and ability as an industry to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that we could do if given the right opportunities. we believe that focus should be done in more of an oversight way and nonpartisan. energy shouldn't be partisan. energy impacts all the fuss. we are all consumers of energy. everyone is impacted by leal and natural gas and to consume it. so we ought to look at it from that vantage point.
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the second aspect that's critically important as i mentioned in my remarks we are a crossroads. we have an opportunity in this very difficult economic environment to create additional well-paid jobs. the jobs on the production side of the oil and natural gas industry paid twice with the average american job pays. those are the types of jobs we need to create that require your nothing more than the political will to get access and opportunities to create american energy on behalf of all americans. >> robert, international investors. speaking of jobs because it is important, mr. duke, you do not indicate he felt the canadian oil shale could produce 340,000 american jobs? could you expand on that and
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explain how that will unfold? >> of sold to read as you are aware canada is the number one trading partner in oil and natural gas and the vast majority of what they produce comes to the united states. the great opportunity we have as the oil sands reserves in canada much of that will be sent to the united states to the default of pipelines and the expanded refinery capacity is in the united states recent economic analysis of shale that we could create 340,000 jobs in the united states by 2015. so the next three or four or five years we have an opportunity to be as significant economic engines to help stimulate the recovery. these are highly sought-after jobs and again, what we need is a political will to provide the opportunities.
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>> why are gas prices rising right now and what is your prediction for 2011? >> we have no protection as it relates to gas prices. we don't speculate on that. the gas price is the function of crude oil. if you watch them move in tandem over time the impact and pressure on crude oil are due to the demand around the world. the price of oil is sat on a global basis if you look at the increased demand coming out of china and other parts of the emerging world frankly hopefully increased demand coming from the united states as a result from our own economic recovery, the reality comes back to the law of supply and demand. as mentioned earlier the experts are telling us on a global basis by 2045, we will need 50% more energy than we produce and consume today. that is a big number. in order to achieve that, we are going to have to get started today.
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these are long-term multimillion-dollar investments. we need certainty today in the political will to provide that opportunity. what we can contribute longer-term to benefit consumers and hopefully keep those places where we would prefer them to be is to do our part to continue to bring supply to the question. >> do you think this year will be difficult for consumers in america? >> i don't know how to predict and judge that. >> if i could call on the moderator or try to. moderator? >> this question comes from anthony. >> thank you, anthony. your question?
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>> alright, someone else in the audience. [laughter] >> what are the chances it will not start this year? >> can you repeat? >> when will the new wells start controlling in the deep water mexico this year and what are the chances perhaps none of them will be started this year? >> it is our hope that the department would move more quickly than the have and putting it back to work. we felt strongly the moratorium wasn't necessary to improve safety in the outer continental shelf. unfortunately it has the permitting process has delayed and it's been dragging on and unfortunately there have been no new deep water well permits issued in mexico falling on the left of the moratorium so i cannot predict when that happens. it rests with the regulators, the department of interior. the industry is doing everything they can imagine doing
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everything they're asked to do to put the industry back to work to produce the oil and gas the country needs as quickly as possible and particularly to put those people back to work of been put out of work as a result of the moratorium. >> you said earlier in your speech you were against the epa regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. what are you going to do other than wait on congress to act on this? >> we believe it is not the rule of the regulators to legislate and currently that's what is going on with the advancement of the greenhouse gas regulation on the part of the regulators. we believe it is within the purview of the elected officials that congress of the united states to make a determination when and how they will regulate greenhouse gases. what we are doing is advancing our educational effort, the impact of the regulatory environment have been estimated
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to be huge. with job loss and adverse economic impact to our economy. so we believe it is something of the legislators should look at. it shouldn't be done. the clean air act was never designed for the greenhouse gases and so we believe it is inappropriate to put it back in the purview of the congress and that the congress make the decision and we will work to that end. >> yesterday's announcement using regulatory pass plays is that a confession by the administration? do you think they are starting to feel [inaudible] >> the announcement yesterday was a positive step forward but it's only one piece of the puzzle. the announcement yesterday was clarity as to how much more additional environmental review would be required of those that have already been given permits
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and operating collier to the moratorium so why we are pleased with that clarity is on the answers that one question the thing to keep your eye on is how many deepwater gulf permits have been issued, and the answer is none to date. it is critically important we put our people back to work in the gulf mexico. one-third of the legal and gas in the united states comes out of the gulf of mexico 80% of the oil coming out of the gulf of mexico comes from the deep water. as i mentioned earlier, the alternative to putting our own people back to work is to increase our alliance on other forms and sources of energy, and we believe the best solution is to develop american energy for all americans. >> shelburne elbert's. i'm wondering if you have any concerns on the decision on how
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the pipeline might be further delayed and stephen undertakes the study and the importance of that project. >> the keystone pipeline issue goes back to the potential for job creation in the united states and canada for that matter we hope it is not delete. there's been ample adequate study of pipeline. we believe it should be approved and once those approvals are made, the industry will move quickly. the companies will move quickly to provide those opportunities for the 340,000 new jobs that are estimated as a result of the expanded oil sands coming from canada. >> next week the commission is going to come out of their recommendations and almost certainly one of the recommendations is when to be the creation of some kind of an
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independent separate along the lines of the nuclear industry has and during the hearing they made it clear they don't think the api should or could [inaudible] what do you think about that recommendation and will you support it? >> as i mentioned in the prepared text earlier immediately following the spill, the industry put together the best known experts in the world and developed task forces to address these issues. what can and should we be doing to elevate the performance of the broad industry across all segments if you will of the safety performance be the equipment, personnel, what ever. we know very quickly to develop those fundamental safety issues. i've met with commissioners and some of the staff and we have talked about these issues. but give a quick background. the american petroleum institute
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was originally established and started in 1924 to develop standards for the broad industry. we have been since that time accredited by an independent and third-party to make sure what we do is independent to make sure what we do this transcendent and others are given the opportunity to contribute to it. i don't want to send guess the commission might conclude. we've had those conversations. i will tell you as an industry we are moving and working down the road on the pace that is faster than the nuclear industry following the three mile island and ultimately resulting in the process to develop the safety program. we have had conversations about, the highest levels of industry and we are moving forward very quickly. let me make one other comment. the model was a success for the industry in one regard. it improves the safety. but since its creation we haven't built a new nuclear power plant in this country
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since then and now we are talking about the need for that. so we need to look lot we have all the issues and how the proposals affect our ability to produce energy that continue to perform better in this area. we are committed to safety. it's our number one priority. we have a long performance track record and as i mentioned earlier the job will never be done because it will obviously be a priority in the industry. >> bill murray with international daily. a love for you talk about this given what we have seen in the last two years of this kind of a return to go back to the future. we are going to see a lot of debates about the offshore issues and an anwar hearing or to the next four or five months and easily it could be the spring of 2001, 1991. what has changed and has not because this is the san debate the country has been having the
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last two decades. >> i think the fundamental issue is the political reality ed and flow. the energy reality has not changed. fundamentally this country will continue to consume and will need more oil and natural gas well into the future. so we need to engage the debate again as i mentioned earlier to put aside partisan issues and say what do we do to advance the best interest of this country to restore our economy, create a high-paying job and generate additional revenue for the federal government? the what's mackenzie report today is very significant in that basically takes to approaches what happens if you impose new taxes on the industry and what happens if you give industry additional access to develop these resources? the winner is additional access result in new high-paying jobs and increased revenue to federal government. if you attempt to tax that and take the revenue from the industry, you discourage the
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investment necessary to create the jobs and generate the revenue so in some ways we are going back to the future but with the underlying issue this, the energy route of the united states, when the land guessed it provides over 60% of the energy we consume and it could be required to provide over 50% in the two decades from now so we have got to get focused on the energy realities and how we deal with those. [inaudible] of your family you talked about here what should congress approve and oversight what should congress do to benefit the oil and gas industry? >> i think it wanted the direction to take from the agenda we would encourage them to pursue what largely come out of some of the oversight conversations. for example, what does it mean to believe the next five-year plan? we believe we will have to live with the at first consequences
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of that for many years to come. our hope would be the we would be able to sit down on a bipartisan basis with the administration and work through this energy reality question. the realities moratorium on the outer continental shelf was lifted after very short and intense debate in this country surrounding the price of gasoline. we need to get back to what it's going to take to create these high-paying jobs to generate the revenue we are capable of doing and focus that outside the realm of partisan bickering. we hope when sitting down working with the new congress and the administration we can harmonize those issues. we shouldn't have to go elsewhere in this country for the energy resources. we have vast amounts here. ..
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to include language in the interior department and the bill to hold the cells in these areas? >> that would be an option that can be looked at. there are some that already talking about. as you know, the least sail is educated. that is an option that is out there. our hope is we can look long-term or look at the five-year plan and work with the department of interior as the latino developers want to play
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in a process that allows us to develop american resources. from the memory, that would be the best outcome. others may resort to legislative solution. because the fundamental issue of taking the pacific, the atlantic parts of eastern gold off the table for the next five to seven years will clearly have adverse impacts on our economy and ability to produce oil and gas were going to meet. >> the legislation is the five-year plan if necessary? >> clearly an option that's been done before. that's what ultimately you can resolve it. you could also resolve it that way in cooperation with the administration. >> michelle, points of america. there is a large portion of the oil on the global market. should we be concerned about how it's going to affect us and what should the congress and white house to in terms of protecting the american interest? think about middle america that
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will be tiny town that will come that china is obviously taking huge portion of. >> we should be concerned and focused in your realities. that should contribute to informing us as to the energy policy of the united states. unfortunately, we haven't had a robust debate around that. if you look again at the global economy has been mentioned earlier in my remarks, will require 50% more over the next two decades. where is that going to come from? we have the ability in the united states to promote vast amounts of energy. we just think the political will to do it. china should be part of that conversation a broader global discussion. other emerging nations are big consumers, india and the list goes on. we have to date not have the political will to think seriously about the energy reality. the one thing i believe this change in this country if the public gets it, the public
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understands after 2008 when they rose up and said wait a minute, prices and energy are increasing significantly were sitting on best-known suburban energy. the public grows up and says developer of domestic resources. so if we get to a point where the pressure continues to rise, i believe the public will engage the debate in a very serious way and will remind those that are elected to represent them. we have the opportunity here to create jobs, to increase revenue of the federal government. and we can do it on americans loyal with american workers paying them increasing taxes and providing additional governors to the government. >> thank you. >> hi, renée showed from the quiet newspapers. what does apic congress should be doing to address climate change? >> climate change i believe will be a secondary issue in the new
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congress and with the administration. clearly in the election of the november election, the public made very clear, i believe, they want elected officials focus on one thing. jobs, jobs, jobs. i believe you'll see a lot of the congressional agenda coming both from democrats and republicans, focused on job creation. i believe the claim that discussion will be put off for another day. if it wants to be introduced as part of the energy conversation, we'll see if things begin to unfold. but i've heard announcements out of the administration and leadership in both house and senate, they expect the issue to be put on the sidelines for the time being as they center on and focus on job creation. >> dave michaels with d communit you mentioned the marcela shell in europe, some of the opportunities. in the last congress, the industry was taking defense and essential federal regulation of
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fracturing. but republicans in charge of the house, how much of the risk is extinguished and if that's not a risk of congress, what role will epa play? >> as he now admits he is heard today, through advanced technologies, the development and increased reserves of natural gas in the united states is a true american success story. an opportunity to produce clean beauty and feel and vast quantities for all of our benefit is really a remarkable story that's really occurred over the past decade. so there are those other two regulated differently than perhaps industrywide. stay hydraulic fracturing is regulated at the state level. we support state regulation of hydraulic fracturing. we believe the differences in topography and geography are on the various states at the appropriate place to regulate it. as you know, the epa is currently doing a study to try to conclude if there is any
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scientific evidence to suggest adverse impacts from hydraulic fracturing. the previous report a run by epa concluded there was no scientific evidence to show contamination as a result of hydraulic fracturing. we hope epa concludes that study. we supported that study. we believe that's the first thing that should happen before there's any further committee on where and how it should be regulated. epa should conclude their study and working with individual states, particularly with the hydraulic fracturing is occurring in texas, marcela shell, new york, pennsylvania, west virginia, the list goes on. again, it's appropriate to regulate at the local level and were working with local regulators to achieve that. [inaudible] >> -- you mention your initial concern of congress will be oversight hearings and speeding up the targeting process.
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what do you see expanding offshore drilling in a conversation with? to use it as second part of the conversation not easy raising deficit? >> well, the outer continental shelf is shedding. we have to first have increased dialogue with the new congress and the administration to determine if there is the ability to develop some consensus moving forward. after that come i think decisions can be made as to what else can be done. clearly it's something we could do, something that is the best interest of the nation, something been the best interest of our economic recovery. but i think we have to set aside by partisan differences to focus on what the voters for november, focus on job creation and economic recovery. the oil and natural class industry is a huge economic engine. we could do even more if given the right opportunities and certainty. as the various reports have shown and the new report shows
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today, there's potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs if given the right access and the right stances in the united states. i did mention earlier today some of you might be surprised to know that between 2004 in 2007, the oil and natural gas industry created 2 million jobs here in the united states. we are huge economic powerhouse. we continue to be so and we can contribute to a fast economic recovery if given the right economic opportunities. >> with "the associated press." you mention the scanner compares this three-mile island. just trying to get your sense of how much of a setback it was to the oil industry and how much of that was self-imposed. >> welcome the tragic incident that occurred in the golf obviously was a time for us to listen closely to the public and learn from us and and
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experiences we had there in the cold. i will tell you if it mentioned earlier, the industry moved very quickly. with self review, self scrutiny to determine what else we can do better. and it's moving quickly with the regulators, with the boe on, a lot of what she sees in regulation we work with them on to help educate and help them understand what else we should be doing to improve the entire performance. so history will eventually judge what the ultimate outcome of the impact in the bp oil spill was. i will tell you the general public today believes it was an isolated incident. and when you look at the experience of the industry, we have been in the cold for over 65 years and we have drilled over 42,000 wells. this clearly was their incident. so we are yet to figure out how
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history besides the impacts of the cold still. i will tell you, industry is laser focused on safety and getting our people back to work. >> in terms of the five-year plan of the administration announced in december, obviously there are restrictions that were there back in march. obviously the difference is bp is still. how realistic will it be for you, for others and supporters to turn that around? >> when you say restrictions, what are you talking about? >> talking about in march, three weeks before it exploded, the obama administration wanted to expand it. now they want to restrict it. and obviously bp's still has a reason for that. i want to just get to how you want to change that. >> you seem to change the view from march of last year to more recently when they made the announcement they were going to contract and pullback in area
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proposals. we believe the energy reality is going to require the united states to look for other forms of oil and natural gas to your and the outer content will shelf. our hope and expectation is to mean and take a closer look at the decision. you announced a programmatic eis, when they begin the discussion of the next five-year plan. we believe in working with others at the energy reality needs to enter more into that conversation. and we need to look more closely at what we're going to need now and well into the future to sustain the vast economy we have in this country. so i guess were still holding out hope that through conversation, deliberation and dialogue, that we might be parties to find a bit of ground that will allow us to develop energy we need as a nation. >> time for a couple more questions. >> susan mcginnis with energy now. you mentioned were you believed
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the climate energy lookout, but deeply they should be secondary or cut up? d.c. there is a danger? >> iv experience with waxman-markey was an unfortunate approach in that they overreached clearly many had to step forward, including ourselves and oppose what they're doing and waxman-markey. would have devastating impacts on job creation, i'm very ability to produce energy and enter in economic activity. so after that experience i think right now that congress is focused on a jobs creation agenda. we administer a focus on a jobs creation agenda. there may be a time in the future where we come back to the climate dialogue and climate deliberation on the hill. but as i hear the white house and the congressional leaders come and that will not be in the near term. >> are they putting it off in your opinion? to believe there's anything a state with business climate issue on hold?
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>> is a question of priority. i think right now the american people make it clear they want the priority should be a significant contribution. >> katy howell. leaders in congress have said that they want people in this year, but should describe both in your speech paint the broader picture in change to energy policy. are you going to be satisfied if they just tackle a few of these small pieces. and if so, which pieces should come first? >> strategically speaking these to be done in a comprehensive way. tactically if they decide to do a piece at a time, obviously i'll leave that to those on the hill collected to make those decisions. i will tell you one of the areas they clearly need to address is the development of oil and national gas resources are
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particularly those controlled by the government for the government can make decisions as to whether or not we have access to them. so whether that's handled in a piece on a comprehensive way, we'll see how that unfolds. i think that will eventually come onto the agenda, not really that may be. [inaudible] thanks for taking my questions. you mentioned a pair of texas toast to the industry creation. so with this new congress come away tax issues do you think will be off the table because republicans are now in charge of the house? for which issues do you wish were off the table? >> when you say tax issues? >> you made comments in your report for what i saw was in a specific in that particular issues -- that there were particular tax initiatives.
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>> are talking tax -- okay fundamentally, >> what you think will be off the table? >> i think it's a question is what drives the discussion and what drives those to feel the need to impose additional taxes on the oil and gas industry. generally it is driven by the need for additional revenue. so if revenue is the issue, then let's go to where revenue can be found from the oil and gas industry and that's in the development of new resources or we can also complement to the new job creation. and the revenue, to the federal government in which the mckinsey report concludes with a much more significant than if they change the tax code to impose direct taxes on the industry. we need to encourage development of our domestic energy resources, not discourage it to go elsewhere. these investment dollars will find a way to energy projects.
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the question is, will they find a way to u.s. energy projects? we believe the way to do that is to provide access and then allow that economic activity to generate significant revenue to the federal government. in 2008 alone, the industry contributed over $20 billion as a simple result of bonus bids, royalty payments and rental fees for access to the outer continental shelf. some of those new cells will generate hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars. that's the way to generate revenue if that's what's driving the dialogue around the tax code. a clear alternative to the approach that's been discussed. >> keith bowers, "wall street journal." we just elaborate a little bit more on why the organization or the industry at large has been reluctant to embrace the cli concept to mr. reilly has been talking about. you indicated in the comments it
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was a little redundant and nearly third-party verified your independent. can you be more specific about why? >> qaeda want to speculate about what the commission will conclude it would not conclude. there's a lot of different models for safety programs. what i said the american chemical association we do care program in assembler and run quite differently. there's models coming out of the u.k. as an industry, we have reviewed all the models so we can refine all the models effective in creating a culture of safety were improved culture of safety. we put the best approach for the oil and gas industry, which is very different than the nuclear industry would add. it is very customize the way we do our work on go about drilling wells at different times, conditions in places. we believe in approach or proceed to the industry would
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come forward with these two have the flexibility to manage those distinct differences and the management of risk for safety programs. the were not being critical of anybody else's program. all were trying to do is find the best of all programs and adapt that to our industry to continue to promote safety is a top priority. >> last question over here. >> you mention it will likely be a fact burner issue for congress. also the same time, stopping epa regulations for someone. is there a preferred method by which congress would do that? and what will it take to take action on that front? >> on the epa front? we mentioned earlier issued he elected officials to determine greenhouse gas regulation. there's a variety of approaches out there today. we will support the means necessary to make sure that congress ultimately makes that
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decision. the clean air act was never designed to regulate greenhouse gases. the epa in our view has overstepped its bounds in attempting to go much further than the clean air act allows them to go in regulating the changing greenhouse gas regulation. so again, we believe we need to take it back to the congress. we need to have the conversation they are about the congress, the elect a body ultimately decide the impact of such a far-reaching policy. greenhouse gas regulation has the potential to be one of the most far reaching impact of that were adopted by the united states congress. it impacts everything we do, all economic tv, all energy development in energy policy. surely something of that significance should be decided in determined by those elected to legislate. >> thank you all for joining us
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today. and let's follow up with us online. you can go to www.energy tomorrow.com. you can find all the materials from today's energy today they are. thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> for members of congress from both parties said today that redistricting is making thanking congress more partisan. republican ronald kurtzman the democrat rob carr spoke at the washington center about the
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future of congress after the midterm elections. this is just under two hours. [applause] >> good morning. just to get that last item of business out of the way first, the ratings for tomorrow are chapters one, 11 and 12 in the book. yesterday afternoon i was over in the russell senate office totaling and decided to go down to see my friend the senate librarian and went into the senate library and found her poring over the rules of the senate because of the effort by some of the democrats to reform the filibuster. and you know, there are certain people in washington who
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specializes in the very arcane area of congressional rules. and very often, you find that these people are actually employees of congress. these are the parliamentarians, the people who really are so well-versed in the often very complex procedures of congress that they alone were limousines others. even they were struggling to figure out what would be a way to proceed with the possible reform of the filibuster. as i was mentioning yesterday, senator udall's postal, one of them is to require senators to actually be on the floor and actually be speaking in order to block legislation. and the filibuster is interesting because of the two-point -- it occurs in two
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points in the legislative process. i mean, it really is designed to slow things down. first come you can filibuster what is called the motion to proceed through the motion to proceed his chest to debate a bill. that's all it is. that can be filibustered. you need 60 votes to close up to date just to debate. the second point is on the voted south come in the filibuster again. so you know, it's a very, very powerful tool. it is interesting because the critics of the filibuster seemed to be simultaneously arguing that the 111th congress accomplished a great deal. and whether you'd like it or not, you know, health reform legislation, the reform of financial regulation, you know, the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, all of these things, the extension of the tax cut are major accomplishments. whether or not you think they're a good idea or not.
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said they are simultaneously saying we did all these great things. and by the way, the filibuster obstructed everything. you just can't make that argument, even though they really are making it. anñ?d it's true the filibuster, you know, is an obstacle. there's no question about that. but it doesn't completely preclude action by congress. and there is a -- you know, in the senate, there has always been a key people who have wanted to change the filibuster. and there are others who have maintained that it's really a defining characteristic of the senate. and it all has to do with what is to be in the minority. the minority that uses the filibuster because of the device to slow down and abstract. and there's kind of a little meditation you can make on what needs to be a minority.
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because we assume being a minority means being disempowered. well, that's not true. because if you have an empowered minority, that minority can really do something. and that's what the situation is for the minority in the senate. but the filibuster, the minority is given power. and the house of representatives, but there was no filibuster, frankly the minority is often almost irrelevant. i mean, we don't like to think that in one chamber of commerce that the minority party really has no influence. but whether the democrats or the republicans are in control of the house of representatives, the minority -- the role of the minority is really quite limited. and this is one of the defining characteristics, one of the
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defining differences between the house and the senate is an empowered minority in the senate largely because of the filibuster and disempowered because of the relatively small number of things the minority party can do. so if you've got a solid 218 votes in the house of representatives, that's half of the membership plus one, you can do pretty much what you want to do. in the senate, if you have 51 votes, there's not much you can do of importance because of the normal resort to the filibuster to slow down or block legislation. there are other things that senators as individuals can do and one of the very controversial once in one of the things the filibuster reformers have been aiming at is the reduction of the use of the hold. the hold is in effect in many filibuster. it's when a senator doesn't want
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a nomination to be considered. doesn't want a bill to be debated, so on. an individual senator complacence what is known as a hold on a bill or nomination. and the hold may have nothing to do with the substance of the bill for the person who's been nominated. it may simply have to be -- have to do with the fact that the senator has something, some problem that needs to be answered. and you know, you think about what it is to be a united state senator. you know, it's a pretty -- it is a pretty impressive power to be able as a single power co. one of 100 to say there is some good about this nomination with this particular piece of legislation that i don't like. or simply i've been an issue that i need a dress.
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i want to hold things up until people come to me, to leadership comes to memphis senator, what is your problem? and this of course is used and many would argue, are abused. but if every senator, all 100 of holds, it goes really slow things down considerably. so you know, going into this new session of the 112 congress, these procedural issues will play a very important role. and it may be that we don't have any really quick answer on it because there are people who feel that the filibuster is on the whole a beneficial thing and something that really defines the senate as an institution. going over to the house side, throughout history, there's always been tension between the party leadership in the house of
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representatives and the chairmen of the committees. in the balance of power has shifted back and forth over the years. party leaders have a built-in desire to present to the house a comprehensive set of policy options that reflect the needs and preferences of the national party for the president, for example, the president of the house majority. the chairs of the house committees have very different kinds of object is. you know, in the 20 committees of the house of representatives, you have very distinctive characteristics. some of these not surprisingly have very strong regional or functional biases here for example, the agriculture committee is obviously going to
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attract members who come from states in which agriculture is very important. the armed services committee usually attracts people, members who have military facilities or large military contractors in their districts and so on. now, the interest of these members, the interest of farmers, defense, tractors and so on may be at odds with the overall national perspective of the party leadership. some over the years, the power relationship between party leaders and chairman has shipped it. and it would of course seem logical that a speaker of the house, being the preeminent party figure in the house of representatives would want to be able to get as much power with the central committee chairs as possible. speaker elect boehner seems to be taking different positions. he seems to be interested in
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allowing power to devolve back to the chairman. speaker pelosi very, very much centralized power. many of the major decisions in the house of representatives were made by party leadership, rather than in what speaker boehner likes to refer to as the regular order of the legislative process with which most of you are familiar. that is the introduction of a bill, hearings on the bill, marking the bill up from her porting to go out and so on. but rather than the traditional textbook order of procedure and house of representatives to speaker pelosi would often get together with, for example, people from the white house, senator harry leaped and basically put together the legislation, bypassing the committee. well, speaker elect boehner is very much a creature of the house of representatives.
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what he wants to do is go back to the more traditional way of making -- of farming legislation. one of the more spectacular examples of this is proposal to really give to the chairman -- the new chairman of the budget committee, representative paul ryan of wisconsin, an extraordinary amount of power through the use of the budget to limit the ability of the appropriating committees of the house to appropriate money. obviously, desire to save $100 billion from the budget, to cut $100 billion in the budget. and it's really quite interesting to see this kind of thing developing in the house of representatives. so you know, over time, ray. one hundred years or so nec in the center of gravity, power and house move back and forth from the leadership to the chairman, chairman to the leadership.
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we seem to be going back in the other direction now under the speakership of representative boehner. now, there are also interesting developments in terms of what is going on at the white house. congress and the 111th congress was very much concerned about the possibility that detainees who were held at the u.s. military prison in guantánamo would be brought back to the united states for trial. this is a very, very big issue in washington and that is of course whether or not the so-called article iii courts are capable of trying these detainees. congress has exercised about the possibility, the article iii courts will be more lenient with these detainees. i mentioned the kayani in court
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said this is exactly what's going to happen. civilian juries are going to be much more lenient. what transfer these people back to the united states by using the appropriations process and denying him the money to do it. and also, you know, forbidding him by law to do it. well, what has happened is something very interesting. and that is during the bush administration, the democrats were highly critical of president bush for signing fills that were politically difficult for him to veto, but appending to these builds upon signing them, something on a signing statement. and this is something presidents have used since very early in the 19th century. and what these signing statements generally say this i will sign this bill, but this is the way i interpreted. that's my view of those is that
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it is inconsistent with my constitutional responsibilities. president bush appended about 150 of these signing statements to legislation, including one very controversial one. senator john mccain had introduced a piece of legislation, which was enacted by congress to forbid the use of torture. the president felt politically could not veto it. he signed it and then added a signing statement to it, saying that i basically disagree with this. this interviews with my powers as the leader of the armed forces of the united states commander-in-chief and i want and i will execute islam as i see fit. well, there was just this absolute cascade of criticism, particularly from democrats. among them, that then candidate
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for the democratic nomination for president, senator barack obama of illinois who said the use of the signing statements is terrible and subverts the constitutional order and so on. well, guess what is happening. since congress has made it difficult for president obama to move the detainees back to the united states, via signing legislation with guess what? signing statements attached, also saying that president bush did, i will interpret as they see fit and i will not carry this out in a matter that is inconsistent with my responsibility as commander-in-chief with the army and navy of the united states. so you know, if you're ever looking for a good example of the old adage of where you stand depends on where you sit, that's a great one. it really is. and even if a few things to be
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said about -- about the judiciary, it's traditional in years for the chief justice of the united states to make -- to issue a message about statement of the judiciary. one of the things that chief justice john roberts did this year was make a very, very strong criticism of the senate confirmation of nominees to the federal court. and this has been a big issue. and it is one that is very conservative judge, john roberts house with republican in the senate, particularly in our efforts to block the nomination through holes or filibusters of president obama's nominees to the u.s. district court, u.s. court of appeals. and so, this is some thing that
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concerns the chief justice very much because there are many, many vacancies on federal courts. and what that means of course is that cases just are being processed in a very efficient manner. for all of these things are developing. all of these particular crosscurrents and dynamics are unfolding this week, that even before the 112 congress is sworn in, the politics proceeds apace, always interesting, sometimes exciting, sometimes baffling. it's a very big and complex government and it's kind of hard to track everything. but i think you're really in a very good position to see so many of these important development unfold in a week that you're here. and let me see. i see congressman terry sent
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back there -- congressman carr is not here yet. i may just make a few comments to sort of get things going. there is a very interesting organization of the former members of congress, which i think is really a comment on the nation untried nature of people who serve in congress. but after having served, that former members want to be available to the media, to educational groups and so on, to talk about the work of congress. and in many ways, their ability to do it is superior to those who are still serving. they can be somewhat more detached. they can be somewhat more objective, that the very, very strong partisan feeling that people want to express when they are actually serving mellowed
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quite a bit. and people are thinking about you stand back and look at congress and a somewhat more detached and analytical way. i am drawn very heavily on the organization members of commerce for my own research. because it's very tough sometimes to get an interview with an incumbent member of congress. in one of the things about former members if they are blessedly accessible. and i have exploited them mercilessly. and they are just a traffic resource. moreover, one of the things they do is they have a program called for congress to campus program in which your school can request the appearance of one or more former members of congress to come to your school to talk about the work of congress. and i think this is just a great program and perhaps congressman
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sarasin will be able to clue you in more about it. although congressman bob carr of michigan hasn't arrived yet, i was wondering if i could call on congressman rod sarasin, republican knows connecticut to come up and began to talk a little bit about his experiences in congress and how he sees things from the perspective of being a former member. [inaudible] terrific, okay. we now have a full complement. good morning, congressman carr. how are you? congressman carr, as explaining to the students yesterday that you are one of those rare members put a truly competitive seat and that much of what you hear about the comfort of incumbents was something i think he probably never enjoyed. at any rate, i would like to have our panelists join me up
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here. congressman bob carr of michigan. congressman ron sarasin from connecticut. [applause] >> well, i'd like to kind of kick things off by asking about whether you have formed in the early impressions of what is going on with this nascent 112 congress. >> me have an opinion? [laughter] actually, today is kind of an interest in day to focus on why we are all here on capitol hill.
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the first order of business in both chambers is to first off, swear in the new members and things like that. in the house, that all of it, everybody. the second order of business is to adopt the rules. and that will cover the state of play of the various contests that all play out over the next two years. and the one to me -- there's one in the house that's kind of interest team. and i think people on the democratic side of kind of snickered and made a big due out over nothing is the reading of the constitution and the rule but apparently requires the sponsor of a bill to cite at least as a general proposition that the constitutional authority for that piece of
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legislation is. and in the senate, the bigger play is going to be whether vice president biden, as the presiding officer, declares or defend the notion of the senate as a so-called continuing body. as you know, let me do it that when first thing that will go to the other one and try to be brief. it's by again -- but it will be good to be challenged on not or maybe through some choreography before you get on the podium they will figure it out and he will declare that the senate is not a continuing body. why is that important. it's really important only in regards to the filibuster.
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if the senate is a continuing body, and it does not have to be adopt its rules at the beginning of the session and it can just carry on with the rules that have been there and plays. and the most important one from the standpoint of people who want reform is the filibuster rule. that is the notion that you have to have 67 senators to invoke cloture, to cut off debate, et cetera, et cetera. and so, there have been a number of people in the congress and the senate, senator tom harkin, mark udall among them who are going to contend today that the senate is not a continuing body and that that is a terrible fiction that works for and outrage on democracy. and if it's not a continuing body and the senate is called
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upon, then to pass its rules, then the boat on the rule, it's expected that only a majority is necessary. and if they adopt new rules and adapt to rule without the cloture rule of 67, then today we could see the demise of the filibuster. >> any bets on not? >> well, it's hard to know. senator biden, before he was vice president, being from delaware. i don't want to offend my friend from the small state, but it can be looked upon as the tyranny of small states. people from small states tend to favor the filibuster because it gives them enormous amounts of power in the senate. that means that very few senators can embark action.
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on the other hand, i do know and i have been part of some discussion with others. i'm not a principle in this, but i'd been party to some of the discussions, that it scales, and the collection will be brought to challenge the senate rules and court. and we can go into that in q&a. there's pluses and minuses to that. there isn't arguably good cause of action for that. but how do you get into court on not it's kind of a tricky question. anyway, just briefly in the house. i'm a democrat who thinks it's a neat idea to read the constitution. and i think the comp to tuition is sorted in the eye of the
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beholder. and a lot of the folks who collect good, think in the constitution is one thing are going to find out that the constitution is really a lot different. and no, this is a learning process for a whole new group of members of congress and indeed the american public, too. >> thanks, bob.?/b??? i'm not, the idea of the constitution being bred, i also happen to agree. i think it's a great idea. members than others, the general public seems to have a very vague idea what's in the constitution. it might be nice to remind them every once in a while. with regard to the issue that every bill now has to state the authority from the constitution, that's not a difficult thing in all. and i don't think that going to slow in the end down or change anything they do. so much hangs on the commerce clause, for example, which enables the congress to do a lot
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of what it does. and the question, i think a legitimate question is have they gone too far trying to interpret or expand the commerce clause? commerce club says they shall regulate between the states. and that's kerry to allow all things to happen. but that's all they have to say is the commerce clause has the authority for a bill that does almost anything you wanted to do. there are limits obviously. we see that in the question of obamacare and whether or not the congress can force people to buy something in the public market and buy health insurance in the authority they are claiming there is primary and the commerce clause and at least a virginia judge says it doesn't go that far. you can't extend it that far. i think we do have to remember that our constitution is the only document in the world that tells the people that are
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subject to it that what the government can do rather than what people can do. and that makes it very different document. and we tend to forget that it's a restriction on the ability of government to just have every power that's out there. the 10th amendment especially says the powers that are not specifically given to the federal government are reserved to the states and people. that is sort of the lord, but actually is a very powerful statement in the constitution and i wish more people would pay attention to them. >> well, being former house members, i'm sure you've gotten a pretty good fix on how the bombers speakership is shaping up. how do you see this as being different from the speakership or the police he speakership? any kind of distinctive policies you see emerging? >> i think there's a history.
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it's within the memory of man that the republicans ran the operation a few years ago. and i was not the case when gingrich took over. it'd been 42 years and no one was alive in the congress that had experienced the republican majority in. and so, it was a little bit different. it was a lot of feeling your way through. now they have a lot more experience. they also know what they did wrong. and hopefully they'll be able to correct the problems, the excesses, the earmarks, all those other things that led to the difficulty that caused the republicans to lose the majority a couple years ago. and i think they have -- they know enough now, i hope, not to repeat the same mistake. so i think this is an opportunity to do it all differently. they have talked about the no dirty and the rules process
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where they are saying we're going to expose this legislation. it's going to be on the internet before it gets voted on. people not only the congress, but the public is going to be allowed to take a look at this stuff. if that happens, that's going to be different. because they get a little impatient as time goes on. they figure we've got the majority, we've got the votes, we're going to make it happen. we're going to make it happen anyway, so so much for giving people time to look at it. bush's exerciser majority and pass this legislation. that's what tends to happen to both parties. but they say they're not going to do at this time and i hope that happens. >> well, i'm kind of wondering and looking eager to find out which republican party john boehner is bleeding. normally this is a problem democrats have and we're kind of use to it as democrats.
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the democratic party is not a party. it's an ad hoc christie of just -- there's really a little flip, but i think an element of truth to it that there's really only one party in america, until this last election anyway and that was the republican party. and then was everyone else. everybody else kind of got together once in a while and caught at the democratic party a day when exhorted that ad hoc racy. now, with the so-called tea party, tea bagger, whatever you call them, it's not to my way of thinking -- what has happened there is very different discipline center in the republican party. republican leadership in the past -- and i think ron can either affirm or ptolemy and full full of baloney here, but i
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was always impressed by the republicans because of their ability to have party discipline and stick together and circle the wagons. and maybe some of that culture came in the minority for 47 years. there is a survival in teams that, you know, you group together and stick together and unify and discipline. and i think that continued that under gingrich's leadership almost to the point that we had -- we came close to abandoning a constitutional democracy in a parliamentary democracy, where parties rule versus the checks and balances were party versus party, rather than institution versus
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institution. but now we have a republican majority in the house, where i think there are different centers of discipline and different centers of where right and wrong is and how boehner sidestepped bucking bronco is going to be quite interesting. >> i agree and i think part of it will -- many of our defend predetermined by the selection of chairman. it does look like a lot of the old bulls have become chairman. how rogerson appropriation for example, so i mean he is known by that and he promises to give up that benefit us,, but we'll see. >> old habits die hard. >> old habits die pretty hard. we'll see what happens there. it attends to be the older bulls and not the new tea party types are more conservative types who just got elected and seems to be
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who is running the trains. and how that works out will be something to see. the congress is not a homogeneous body in the broad sense. in either party. and i had always -- when i was in congress, though it's been in the minority, not for the majority. and once in a while we would sit together, but that wasn't all that. i was probably a moderate republican been found in new england state, which wasn't surprising. although in my own state i was probably the most conservative of all the congressmen, certainly the other couple of republicans behind. and i think you see that change or that distance in both parties. what has happened in recent elections because of the one time in the redistricting process that's gone over the
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last couple of decades, which has really made it so there are not too many real contest for congress. there are so many safe seats now that you don't have the variety that you had before. and also, both parties have expunged the wings and i'm not sure that's healthy. the republican party, a lot of the moderates, people from my seat like nancy johnson crochets foster was the last couple of election cycles. this psycho with republicans taking over the majority again, a lot of the loo.and the cuts, more conservative democrat have lost their elections. so you end up with a bigger spread, much more conservatives on the republican side and much more liberal on the democratic side. whether that holds together as time goes on and people sort themselves out, i don't know. but i don't think we're going to get through the parliamentary situation -- party situation we had before. we really are unique legislator
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in that every member is an independent soul. they have a large staff to allow them to be independent. and unlike any other legislature in the world, a member of the house, for example, gets 18 staff members to spread between their district and their office. ..?7??
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the republicans are trying to figure out ways to ease the pressure. unfortunately i think people get elected today thinking they are supposed to hate the guy on the other side of the aisle and they don't have to listen to them and pay attention and that is just plain him dead wrong. that's not the way the system was designed to work and it does not work well when it becomes too partisan. >> one of the things that's interested me is what appears to be speaker banner's efforts to free five what he refers to as regular order. in particular, i'm not having the major legislative decisions made by a small group of people in leadership, but rather voting to the committee's traditional role of hearings and markups and so on do you think that's likely to happen? >> i do and that is the way it was when we were in congress.
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i think the committee said much more power than they have had in recent years. the chairmen would control a lot of that legislation. if they didn't determine never saw the light of day, but there were other ways to bring pressure on the committees. as a minority member i never felt i didn't have a piece of the action, and even though i knew i couldn't do everything i wanted to do i didn't have the votes from committee, certainly didn't have them on the floor i always felt that i was making a difference, that if i had a good idea people would listen they would somehow work it into whatever they were trying to work out and maybe i didn't get credit for it but i made a difference. it was enough to say to have leased myself okay it is worth coming back. i am making a contribution. i am somehow doing something i think is important. i'm not sure in recent years that's been the case. i wouldn't want to be in the minority on either party because
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they are simply shut out. the legislation was accomplished behind closed doors, no minority participation, and that's just not the way it ought to be done. >> i was interested to hear you say that because one of the things, one of the criticisms you hear about the house of representatives is the minority party just doesn't have much ability to influence legislation to offer amendments on the floor is very limited to the actions of the rules and that has always seemed a built-in feature of their representatives. >> but it wasn't always that way, and it was at least again i was there 30 years ago so the world is changed, but the ability to offer -- you may not succeed with the amendment, you probably wouldn't but at least in most cases you had a chance
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to offer it, they were not all closed rooms, and there were a variety of amendments offered. some succeeded, most did not, and but at least you had a chance to make a difference and sometimes what ever you were trying to do eventually got worked into somebody else's amendment, and so your thoughts were not lost on the system. >> it's an interesting paradox to study both legislative bodies even if you don't care for the particular rules or management style of the speaker or the house of the time, the house is made up of 435 people and manages by and large to have its trains run on time. and yet the very much smaller u.s. senate doesn't. why is that?
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it has to do with what we talked about earlier, and that's the rules. the rules can be such that you have to have virtuous unanimous consent to do anything, which gives one person say as a hold on legislation in the senate you can have rules that make the smallest group the most inefficient, and you can have rules that can make the larger group very efficient. its output you may not like, but it will actually go through the process and get the job done whether you like the job or not is a different thing. but so, the rules are by which we play are very important whether you use a sports analogy or some other one, but we don't hear much talk about the rules that we will debate today, if
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they are debated at all they will pretty much be adopted on a party-line vote, the more interesting one is -- >> tell me, in terms of your role as members of the house of representatives, did you ever find yourself in a situation which when you felt was in the best interest of the country might not have been in the best interest of your particular congressional district, people of your district? do those kind of tensions -- >> i think so, but a member is elected to exercise his or her best judgment, and not hold a finger to the air war figured out with the latest poll says, but to get elected to exercise the best judgment. the judgment could be wrong. certainly there are some votes i would like to go back and do over again based on the history
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or experience or whatever but in most cases i'm very comfortable with everything that i did, and i think every other member is as well, but that is their response of the and it's -- and it is not to simply run along in lockstep is to try to figure out what is best for the country and for their district as well, and there are tensions, there is no doubt about that. there are some things that don't seem to have a bearing on your congressional district yet you know they are important for the country and you have to do something about it. i think one of the classic examples of that is the vote that's coming up here is the debt ceiling. republicans if they are in minority will vote against it. not my problem. i'm not going to support that. now they are in the majority. what are they going to do? they have to support it. they don't want to do it, they think the debt is too high but they have to support it and i think that boehner is going to have to come out in favor most the vote on the debt ceiling and so forth.
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but this is the responsibility of being in the majority. you have to do that. you can't let the full faith and credit of the united states fail. you just can't. >> line from michigan and i frequently face the dilemma. personally i am very much a free trader. on the foreign trade issues, my personal feelings probably were much more aligned with those of the exporting and importing states of the west coast and east coast, but in michigan where there has been a tremendous amount of job loss and where the automobile manufacturing base has been challenged by four men competition and where labor organizations are very, very strong, you can imagine that michigan really wasn't so high on the idea of free trade unless
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it was in their fever and while i was in congress it wasn't in their favor, so on votes like the north american free trade agreement, i had to think long and hard about whether i was going to do what i thought was in the interest of america or in the interest of the people who eat essentially work my boss, and it's not unlike everyone in the workplace occasionally has to face that, you have a boss who wants you to do one thing but your better judgment thinks something else so those kind of dilemma arthur about our society, they are no different than those on the capitol hill. >> do you think it's a really essential role for a member of congress to go back and explain
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things to constituents? policies are complicated and who is going to explain it? you might get very biased opinions and so on. what do you do in a situation like that? >> that is a dilemma and why especially in recent years since the time i was there we go back home all the time and in the home town meetings every week and you would be in a public place somewhere trying to explain you what you were doing, what the issues were coming and try to remind people you don't deal with sound bites and the congress of the united states or with easy issues. the black-and-white issues have been built somewhere else, they never get to congress. usually stuff astana somewhere but not here in washington and certainly not by the congress. what you get are grey areas and very complicated pieces of legislation and long bills. we have seen them even longer to fill some pages. who can read or understand everything that is in 2000 pages, so now you keep
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discovering things that were a part of the legislation that you didn't notice the first time around. but what you have to decide is a member is there enough good in that legislation to support or not bad to oppose it and these are not easy decisions, these are really difficult decisions with that is your responsibility and no constituent is free to spend time looking of the legislation unless they have to predict where interest or part of that and to try to come up with their best judgment. they did with sound bites and with what they hear in the media or what they read in the newspapers and they tend to be oversimplified. and these issues are never simple. they are always very difficult otherwise they wouldn't be before the congress. >> i often wish i had a proportional vote where i could vote 60% this and 40% no, something like that. because i always knew that my opponent was going to focus on
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that one section or that one thing in a bill that was over all very good that just didn't make any sense or could be ridiculed and so they were subject to the tyranny of distortion, but like ron says, you can only go 100% yes or no on most of this stuff, so it's very hard. the ability to educate your constituents is interesting. in this very limited. if the legislation arises through your committee and you sat through a lot of hearings and you got your ph.d. shoemaking or what ever happened to be the bill of the day and your constituents didn't like that particular piece of legislation, you were at least intellectually and informational the armed to tell your
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constituents why it might be in the short term interest but in the big term picture long-term interest or children's interest or whatever, however you want to put it, you could educate them and you could probably and getting most of your constituents to say i still kind of don't like how you voted but i now understand that there was a different point of view and he made a rational choice. on the other hand, so much of the legislation that comes before you to vote you're not on the committee that produced at and as ron says you don't a time to read the legislation contorting for everything from secondary sources, the curbs on town are spending one way or the other and it becomes very, very hard. and on those particular issues, it's much more difficult to go back to your district this is
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why did why did i'm sorry you didn't like it and get away with it. so, the other thing i would like to say in that regard is some people come to washington and some state legislators come to washington -- you can tell me if i'm right or wrong. [laughter] but i was not in the state legislature, i didn't work for the state legislature, but i found that legislators that come to washington to come to the house of representatives find a much different legislative body than the one they came from. and they do not have a 121 translation of whatever they learned in state xyz legislature coming to the congress. rather, the congress i think is maybe better examined as a
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federation of legislatures each committee being a legislature of a subject matter jurisdiction and the house floor is where the appeals are taken for those who lost the various amendments and things on the house in the committee or who didn't get a chance to offer an amendment. i came from a state where committees were kind of advice of a, they were at a place where stuff got started but the legislation was written on the state house or the state senate floor. >> that's an interesting analogy, and i think to a large extent it's true. the world is different between at least my experience in the state legislature and congress to read the thing i was most surprised about when i came to congress was the fact people did seem to pay much attention to the language of the legislation. in the state legislature we agonize over words. we knew that at some point there
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was a court that was going to look at the legislation. we worried about those things and understood them better and bald is right, before it goes where the final product was really put together. but it was also a much more collegial place and it was -- i always thought i had enough food coming from the state legislature because my experience is was we would yell and scream and fight for principle and go to dinner with the guy you had been arguing with all afternoon on the house floor, and this became your best friend, and it was a better atmosphere. we didn't have to agree politically or philosophically but we liked each other as people. if the other guy was talking about something we listen to him because we probably knew he had good ideas and maybe we could learn something. if you get to congress the is a little bit lost. also to get back to the question of language, the congress passed legislation as the bureaucrats of flesh it out and a lot
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happens between that point and applied it actually affects people and a lot of changes are made. much beyond whatever the congress probably had in mind and that's because they don't pay enough attention to the language. but bobwhite about the way the committee system works it does make experts out of members of congress in very narrow areas and in those are the areas of the committee on which they serve because they sit through the hearings and listen to the testimony one side or the other. they do the oversight within the committee itself. they really do become experts. then the question is how is that expertise shared among members. sometimes it's not shared at all and you simply because you don't hear anybody else. when i was in the minority as a republican, we had a couple organizations the redesigned to help share that. not everybody was a part of it. one was called cnn marching
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society which was started in the 1950's i think, and another one was called sos which i belong to and no one knew what it meant, it was safe oversouls or the society of states men, which probably was. that is still operating, sos has fallen by the wayside. when the republicans come to the majority, wind new gingrich and the company took over only because they were so busy now as committee chairmen and so forth they didn't have that time but what we did and i did and cnn and sos would try to find a couple of guys in each class and invite them to join and i was fortunate to be selected to join an sos by what other freshman member and we would do is read every week tuesday afternoon in a member's office the member would be responsible for leaving out the cheese and crackers and
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dewitt sit there and talk about what your committees are doing and you would be there for an hour. you had to be fair on time, you would get find you didn't show one time. the money went into, who knows where it went. >> the earmark. >> the fund. but there would be people, more senior people on the committees in congress everything would be represented and so i would be able to listen to the ranking member of the ways and means committee talk about issues before the ways and means committee and what was happening and what wilbur was doing now and all these other people, john anderson, jerry ford was a member of cnn, these people were the experts on their committees and every week about their committees were doing and i would report was in education and labor this before the committee on aging, and you've got to hear all this stuff, you got to know a little bit so if you went back to a town meeting and somebody asked a question,
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you had enough knowledge would pick up and kind of repeat with this other guy said and that kind made even expert but you were really exposed to an awful lot of information. i found that to be the best source of information that i have. plus each party does kind of a new sheet on the legislation coming up. i somehow managed to sign up for the democratic sheet as well and so i had them both and he would provide the information, your staff is there to provide information coming to listen to lobbyists and hear voices on all sides of the issue. that is how you become as expert as you can be to make the decisions you have to make. it's just a variety of input but the best thing i found was sos, just a great experience. >> atingua contemporary member of the house would say i don't have the time to do that. >> it was only an hour a week in that hour it was a classroom
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experience. it was wonderful. >> that gave you the ability to educate your constituents because you did have a little bit of understanding. >> what's open up for questions. there's a lot of interesting topics that have been brought up and i would like to hear what you think about them and maybe get some amplification, further explanation. >> young lady in the aisle. >> as for and members of congress i was wondering if you had upcoming legislation [inaudible] >> bilingual? >> i think all of us are for people learning another language. we have to recognize that in the
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united states we are behind the curve and every other country of the world people are learning whatever their language is. they're certainly learn to speak english, we should be learning chinese and spanish but we have strong feelings about the fact we are in english speaking country but i am very much in favor of language being taught at the requirements people take language of of an english -- other than english. >> mauney question is about bills [inaudible] i wonder if this has had unintended consequences i
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wondered if it violated [inaudible] >> the members take an oath to support the constitution and so i don't think it's beyond the realm of sensitivity that the somehow be obliged to let least acknowledge the fact whatever they are trying to do as a constitutional basis otherwise they can't do it. if it's not part of the constitution they really are not allowed to do it, they shouldn't be allowed. the constitution is very broad in that since there are limitations as to what the federal government can do or not do. >> here is what gets overlooked, and we get kind of sucked into
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the notion that only the supreme court can say what the constitution requires. that's not true. they may have the final word where there is a dispute, but everyone who is a constitutional officer of this government has a right, i think a constitutional right to see what the constitution needs with regard to their actions. >> i agree. >> so if i want to introduce a piece of legislation that says that we should vanish from u.s. citizenship all people with crooked teeth, and i think the constitution and some twisted
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logic gives the federal government the right to do that that's eight. that is a judgment that i've made etc. i pity you can't argue with it. the whole notion of legislature saying that the legislation they want to introduce or they are introducing has constitutional authority. it is not a hard standard to meet at all. but the constitutionality of legislation under discussion come up a very frequently >> yes. it is used as -- every time i heard it it was makeweight. it was interesting because i tend to like constitutional law. they got me into being a lawyer to begin with a constitutional
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law corseted as an undergraduate and that kind of attracted me into law school and i've paid attention to supreme court decisions and things like that. those are all interesting but he will occasionally get members of congress who in the committee will be a markup and somebody will oppose somebody else amendment on the basis that it's not constitutional. but if i see its constitutional and the committee agrees to it, and it's the constitution of the law if the president signs it and its constitutional unless and until the supreme court on some other day and some of the decade since maybe not. >> right in the front. looking for a microphone.
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>> my name is hilary brown from san francisco state university. my question is folks worried about paying commercial insurance unconstitutional [inaudible] for people to drive cars, constitution of wealth can that be debated? >> i think there is a distinction at least of the argument being made that there is a distinction. first-place driving and ogle automobile was not a right, it's a privilege and there could be conditions on the privilege. you have to have a license flexible and other things and the purpose for the insurance to protect other people. it isn't really to protect you, and that is viewed a little bit as different than saying you must go out in the private market place and you must buy this particular product. and i think that goes beyond what least the courts have already taken the commerce
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clause. in my own opinion i think it goes too far. >> i would disagree. i mean, i am being forced to pay for the war in afghanistan that i don't believe in. we have this throughout our society both in terms of the private marketplace and in terms of our participation in all of the endeavors of government. because of the tax code, all i am paying for deductions for the uses that i might not really want even though the congress and the state legislators have said that it's in my best interest but maybe i didn't want it, you know, so why don't -- you know, the courts are divided and they tend to be divided along the lines of which partisan president appointed them, so we will see what
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happens. >> i am all for reviewing it. [laughter] >> did you recall your experiences in conference that for repealing the legislation? that's the problem. you don't look back at it. there is oversight, there hasn't been as much oversight in recent years as they're used to be, but you never seem to go back and say those this thing work? is it doing what we thought it was going to do? laws get past great noble purposes, the congress never takes the time to go back and then they have constituents, constituencies of their own and a new half-life every other year we just are doing too much and i think we have to go back and look, but we don't do it and that is part of the problem. something gets passed and stays in existence for ever. >> i think that's true.
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we used to have a proposal out there it's kind of gone out of favor right now called sunset legislation the would require every piece of legislation to have an effective end date and would have to be reenacted and presumably updated and modernized if it was to take into account new situations, but like ron says, people get entrenched in terms of how this and even a relatively on a popular pieces of legislation leader on the books for years and years and years but it may fall into a dead letter category where no one pays much attention deductible repeal not dree often. >> so you think the prospect for the repeal of the health insurance reform is pretty
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unlikely? >> yes. >> i think actually i was delighted as a democrat and i would be in favor of a single payer system ultimately i think if this was to succeed in there would be repealed it would be an open door for those people who want -- who want at least a public option. but i was delighted that the scheduling for the roel on friday and for the vote next week to repeal because i think -- this goes back to the question of leader boehner and what kind of speech he's going to become i can't believe that john really -- i think that he is suspending good political judgment at least long term by having this quick vote.
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there will be bad unintended consequences from the health care legislation there will pass, and will play out over time over the next year, 18 months or so, and that is a real opportunity for the republicanx leadership to examine this,y postured itself has looking for the bad things to root out and then maybe something on the positive side to reinforce and they do a very thoughtful and they have lots of publicity because this what every night it would be on the news and then finally they could come to santa fe to the coup -- come to a big crescendo to make some kind of a massive change. on the other hand, the longer this goes i think it's like
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medicare, and sure there are a lot of people who the day after medicare was passed wanted to repeal it, and i am absolutely sure there are a lot of people on medicare today who wouldn't give it up in an instant probably were among that group, so i think as people learn what it is and what it's not, it's going to be hard to repeal but i thought the republicans had a real opportunity to posture and as we are already going to go for the obamacare reform and now they are showing their hand. >> i am not sure that that is -- i don't agree. i'm not sure that it would be repealed but it's the politics of what happens when it gets to the senate. i think the repeal will pass the house because of the members and a lot of democrats will vote that we as well because a lot of democrats reduced to be members
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of congress lost on just that issue and everybody else knows it. what happens when the bill gets to the senate if it ever comes up and harry reid controls whether it comes up or not as it probably won't unless there is a way to bring it up, but if it comes up there are a lot of democrats up next time, democratic senators who are going to look back at what happened in the recent election in 2010 and say we can't support this the way it stands and they may have to support it as well. there's a possibility for repeal but it's not likely and the house i think will repeat what but obviously has passed the senate and if all that fails or is terri reid never brings it up the knife and you will see pieces brought up separately and of those have a better shot at being the repeal pieces of it can be repealed and then of course where you left with?
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because in a way it is a house of cards, some parts depend on other parts, and you take away part of the foundation, and the whole thing is it just can't work or you don't have the dollars for it and so forth, so it would be an interesting process to go through. >> it's going to be interesting to watch, and for all of your fellow intellectuals out there, something to think about, see if you can correlate the votes on the repeal of health care reform, particularly among democrats who voted against who happen to be in states where the reapportionment process is controlled by republicans. the question really is the cause of this as being a reapportionment year there is yet a different audience out there not just the voters, but a very select group of people in
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each state who are going to draw the congressional district lines, and i did that plays into the calculus of how people vote particularly on the democratic side in next week's's repeal vote on health care more than how they think the voters are going to look at it two years from now. >> good point. >> questions, yes, good. >> my question is i'm from massachusetts where it is required we have health care so i'm curious why people would be opposed to buying it when it seems to be beneficial for them. >> i am sorry i'm not sure i heard it. why i'm opposed to? >> why people are opposed to having to buy health care when it seems to be beneficial. estimate because the cost for one thing and because of all of the requirements that go with that.
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part of the problem with health care, and it's been progressive, the states have managed to score with up to a large extent by creating mandates if you're going to sell health insurance in these states you are going to have to provide benefits for this, this and this and it's like seeing everybody has to drive -- you can only drive one kind of car and is a complete cadillac. maybe somebody wants to drive a volkswagen because they are still better than walking, you can't do that because of all the mandates and costs built into the program. wouldn't it be nice if you could pick and choose the insurance you want or have yourself covered? we can't do that any longer so that's part of the problem plus the fact you're told that you have to buy this insurance and costs are already going up. there is no free lunch. you can't tell the american public you can keep your adult
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and child to be covered until they are 26-years-old without impacting the cost of the product. you can't say that -- you can say that you're allowed to buy insurance even there you have a pre-existing condition without impacting the cost of the product. maybe there are ways to do that, but there are probably other ways to bring the cost down, allow states and products to be sold throughout the states instead of the way it is today. do something serious about reform, liability reform, and i think there are ways to skin the cat, but that's the way that it's been done. >> in the european union the have the universal health care system. do you think the american public would be opposed to raising taxes to have a better welfare system and health care system and if they do in the e.u. or do you think that would affect the
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re-election with constituents? >> people are, depending on who is paying the tax, you always get an interesting vote. if you say let's tax the rich, then a majority of people are in favor because they don't consider themselves rich and they figure they are not going to pay that tax but they are going to get the benefit. i think that we have paid too much in taxes today and i think the system of taxation is not as fair as it might be so i would like to see some changes but i feel we are all willing to pay something for the welfare of people it is a question of how far you go. the question we back there. >> i'm from the university of santiago. my question is i want to know if
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you can clarify behind the constitutional interpretation because you are kind of insinuating the constitution is a relativist document in whichq case if it is relativist it is almost irrelevant, so it seems like behind the constitution there are very cut and dry out lines like nightline for instance for congress to follow given to congress, just wondering specifically definedañ constitutional interpretation but it's just open -- >> the logic is your constitutional officer and while you take an oath to uphold the constitution, you don't delegate in that process to someone else to say what the constitution is.
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you are a constitutional officer but you are entitled to your own interpretation of what the constitution requires. and there will be wide as evident in our society wide differences on what things -- with the constitution requires. very few things in the constitution that are not really subject to interpretations. one is that the president shall take the oath of office on the 25th of january. that one is hard to argue and interpret and unless maybe you are into some kind of astrological different calendar thing, but that leads to very little disagreement. it is unconstitutional to give it one day before.
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but congress shall make no law a burden. that is kind of strange phraseology the congress shall make no law. the congress shall not make a law abridging the right of freedom of speech. but we all know that at least the court has said certain free-speech is not constitutionally protected and the congress through a variety of passages of laws like espionage and things has said congress can make some laws abridging freedom of speech so i as a legislator can presumably i am being a little assert to of course and say people with crooked teeth shouldn't have the
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right of free speech, but i mean, it does get down to interpretation. so it is relative to the mind of the person who is offering a piece of legislation. quite clearly, and this is roughly rational, that person stands alone and all other seminal constitutional officers say we are not going to do that. and when the conference as a whole speaks by its actions, that is presumptive of constitutionality until overturned by the supreme court or vetoed by the president. >> yes, this young lady.
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you mentioned the health care reform bill was unlikely to be repealed. do you feel the same way regarding the birthrightx? amendment? >> birthright portion of the 14th amendment. >> anyone born of the united states is a citizen of the united states? >> yeah, yeah, you know, to repeal a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority and then ratification by three-quarters of the states, so, you know, that isn't likely to happen. >> i'm not sure the amendment has to be repealed. i really am not. i think it's a question of interpretation of a 14th amendment because of the language in the amendment that says i can't remember it now.
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no wonder i am in the wrong place here. it is subject to the jurisdiction thereof. that is a question then are illegal aliens subject to the jurisdiction thereof, so i don't know -- i think you could interpret that a little bit differently and say the babies who are born here whose parents are here illegally in violation of the law are not necessarily -- can't think of the name of a call for babies born here -- anbar babies are not necessarily and shouldn't be citizens of the united states. that's not the way it's interpreted obviously but i don't and you need an amendment to say that well, we really ought to look at this a different way. >> i want to call on somebody that hasn't had a chance.
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yes, this young woman. >> i used to work in london five years but each time i see the doctor chart [inaudible] my question is on health care reform. in this country when we see the doctor it's free of charge in china we don't pay anything. we see the doctor free of charge and we only pay the prescription is it possible in this country your health care reform like this? i'm just curious. thank you. >> as i take the question would be do we have a european-style health care system, and i would
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say the answer is no. if you were over 65 with a copay, small co-payment, you could see a doctor if the doctor will take you, and you can get -- if you sign up for a separate prescription drug benefit, you can get your drugs. but typically until what year was it? it was during the bush administration when part d came, prescription drugs were always on the private market. >> we will take two more questions. yes. >> you are getting a good workout today. >> i was wondering do you think there will be a retaliation from the two-party system of
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republicans passed this ceiling debt and if so, what form will it take? >> i missed the question. >> do you think there will be retaliation from the tea party if the ceiling debt passes? >> do we think there would be retaliation from the tea party type if the debt ceiling passes? yeah, but what are they going to do? [laughter] as a practical matter, it's something that has to happen, and it goes with the response of the being in the majority. you can posture against as obama did as a senator of objected to it and the republicans do when they are in the minority that now they are in the majority and they have to bite the bullet and say, we have to do what's right and i think they will. >> here is an interesting one if you are interested you might want to pursue with some of scholarship. i'm sorry i can't bring that scholarship to you.
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[laughter] all i seem to recall that there is some history behind the congress being forced to raise the debt ceiling. that is required by not the constitution by some statute at some period of time. now the folklore from the democratic side is that republicans who were outraged at the keynesian economics in the thirties and the new deal or the ones that during a brief power in the congress and white house passed legislation requiring the congress to raise the ceiling on the debt periodically, and if that is true then it kind of
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desserts that the republicans are now in control of the dilemma but all of what i have said is subject to check. don't put that down in a paper until your political science professor it's true. >> of the debt extension is what was referred to as most past legislation, and hysterically the road on the debt limit extension has resulted in some rather interesting conditions being attached to it or other legislation. rick sable the balanced budget amendment was actually passed because it was attached to the debt limit extension. so you can -- it doesn't have to pass as a clean bill. there can be other things attached to it and obviously members of congress are going to use any opportunity that there is must pass legislation to try to get amendments added to it.
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>> [inaudible] will and the addition of the statement of the constitutional meaning to you think it will likely change the congress's way the enact legislation or write the legislation because you spoke about how many don't even yad it or understand and wey start to learn things the wayú they read into it after it has been made a law. >> i don't think it will change the way the legislation is written it's actually legislation is written or cleaned up by a staff of people who are supposed to be knowledgeable and all that stuff so i don't think any of that is going to change. there will be an additional line in the bill somehow it will be worked in and i don't know how mechanically they are going to do that but they will give your
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reference to the constitution and in a lot with the congress does is within the jurisdiction of the commerce clause so you simply sighed the commerce clause with a perception that is an. again i don't think this is a very difficult issue for the members of congress and i think it would be important for the members to start reading the constitution again and thinking about what it says. for the simple, the great majority of the public thinks the constitution says there's a separation between church and state. that language is not in the constitution at all so there will be in a weakening for some people to pay a little bit of attention to the constitution to be >> that is an interesting exam of course christine o'donnell pointed that out in the debate and was ridiculed for it and her opponent who is the senator now i can't remember his name.
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if he has been on his toes he would have said he adds interpreted by the supreme court it requires neutrality, not separation. >> when i was working in the office of the u.s. senator we got an inquiry from a very indignant woman who said where is it in the constitution that separation of power is required? knott understanding the article pretty substantial separation but yeah i think so many of the public opinion polls that attempt to ascertain the understanding particularly the bill of rights, the results are truly disheartening. it's not something people know very much about and i am hopeful perhaps this new emphasis on state to the constitutional basis for legislation they are not going to read the
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constitution every day in the house of representatives but i think a little bit more awareness of the constitution is definitely a good thing. >> they certainly don't teach it in high school and college very much. i do think it's important. >> i was just wondering why do you think the dream act didn't pass [inaudible] >> i'm sorry to it >> why the dream act didn't pass and if it will in the future. it the main reason? >> personally don't know why it didn't pass. to me it's just sort of saddam logic to enfranchise these people in particular when you are putting some fairly significant requirements on them
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but, you know, one thing to think about in terms of legislation is that it really never goes away. i was in my 18 years in the house i was always impressed by the notion that very few new issues came up we were always chewing on this an issue over and over, sometimes repackaged again and again, and this one is not going to go away.mea they don't -- it will get pass eventually. >> i think something like that mayb -- the basic issue or the problem to get over is the question that somehow you are rewarding illegal acts to jump ahead of people who are trying to operate in the system and i think that is another
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reason that failed, so i don't think i would have supported it had the opportunity to vote on it. >> yes? >> write down front. >> [inaudible] hello? [laughter] i live in nashville. my question before i ask i want to learn in 9899 we see microsoft sued for being a monopoly, 90% of the market. the u.s. postal service is a monopoly to eliminate duplicated effort. in addition, my main question is assuming the health bill passes will we see the government using the calls to four monopoly on health care and they themselves be provided the service?
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>> that's not the way -- that's not the way the law reads now, but i do think that embeddded in your question is a more interesting phenomenon that speaks to why we are examining our laws constantly at this technology among other things change as the boundary between what is thought to be in the private sector and lots properly in the public sector. in the day and age when few people could afford the supercomputing capability of a mainframe computer to do certain things, if that was required you kind of thought this has got to be done by government because we
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don't have the ability to do that as individuals or as states or cities or businesses. but you know, now we have got laptop -- i have more computing power in my iphone than i did ten years ago a in a desktop computer. so our ability to do things is changing. our education level hopefully is changing opportunities so that today we have a government that has said, at least the president has said that the u.s. government is no longer going to be the monopoly on launching space vehicles, and they are encouraging private enterprise
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to enter into an area that could not have been private before. so that dynamic, and microsoft, talk about microsoft being sued as being a monopoly, nobody thinks about that anymore. they are worried about google versus facebook versus, you know, what's next? so all of this is we have a very dynamic situation, and one of the precepts that always bothered me is that the ability of the private sector and individuals now technologically is racing along much faster than the ability of space institutions which tend to be slow, cumbersome and clunky to either deal with it or maximize its advantages and things like that.

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